Mid-Cleveland Karate Championships


The 37th Annual Mid-Cleveland Karate Championships held on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at the Shelby City Parks and Recreation Gym, Shelby, North Carolina. Sabumnim Donald McCluney and Donald McCluney's School of Tae Kwon Do sponsors this event each year with the assistance of his staff, students, family and friends.  This year the weather permitted even more competitors to attend, as there was no snow in the forecast.  Ring Coordinator Kyoshi Corey Waiters and Arbitrator Master Jerome "Magic" Johnson kept the rings going strong, steady and smoothly throughout the day as competitors stayed close to their respective rings for their chance to compete.

The beginning of the event started with the Breaking division held outside in the front of the gym.  There were three divisions with three winners: Connor Haplin (11 year old and under), Jennifer Potts (12 – 17 years old) and John Martin (18+ year old). Inside the tournament seen the 5 and under year old spar.  This division is always fun to watch and is amazing as these youngsters show off their fighting skills.  The winner of this division was Ike Sain.  In the other sparring divisions, 6 – 11 year olds Jordin Lopez, Jordan Bolis, and Elihu Lipscomb were some of the winners. The 12 – 17 year olds sparring divisions some of these winners were: Owyn West, Matthew Freie, and Cordell Burton.  In the under-belt 6 – 17 year olds traditional/open weapons and katas witnessed spectacular performances which produced 1st place winners as: Cierra Bucklaw, Christopher Spiull, Taylor Lawson, Princess Huff, Gage Wright, Laney Glosson, and Phillip Cornett, were just a few of the winners in their respective divisions.  In the musical divisions Taylor Lawson, Jack Formato and Jenay Oldfield were 1st place winners.  The (Adult) 18+ under-belt forms and musicals divisions delivered 1st place winners Alex O'Brien, Tim Buchch, and John Martin. The sparring divisions produced such 1st place winners as: Erik Laughlin, Robert Belke, Nick Mitchem, Devin Beam and Darryl Wood.

Midway the tournament was paused as Sabumnim McCluney awarded all Black Belts appreciation awards. Reginald McCluney gave prayer.  All promoters announced their upcoming tournaments for the year.  The Jr. Black Belt and Adult Black Belt division's gives the spectator a glimpse of what dedication to the martial arts is all about as Yeats Robinson, Colby Hurst, Nate Courtney, Hunter Sloan and Breanna Twitt became 1st place winners in their respective kata and weapons divisions.  Their sparring skills proved to be exceptional as Elijah Reid and Ryan Josey were among those who gained 1st place trophies.  The Adult Black Belts competitors Steven Rhodes, Elizabeth Lapp, Rickie Maddox, Jamie Pennington, Courtney Criminger, and Dale Harvey, proved that dedication and lots of practice gains greatness.   In the Black Belt sparring divisions gave way to such 1st place winners as Keith Green, Huston Thomas, Jason James, Joel Shiffett, Johnny Witherspoon, Jerry Davis and Wykenia Tillman.

Everyone has a great time and enjoyed meeting new and old friends.  Sabumnim Donald McCluney once again made sure everyone enjoyed themselves and had much to talk about, as the tournament was a great success with a huge turnout.  Can't wait until next year for the 38th Annual Mid-Cleveland Karate Championships.

Grand Champions
Women's Black Belt Sparring –   Wykenia Tillman
Black Belt Kata  - Ricky Maddox
Runner-up – Elisabeth Lapp
18+ Black Belt Sparring – Keith Green
Runner-up – Jerry Davis
35+ Executive Black Belt Sparring – Houston Thomas
Runner-up – Keith Green

School with Most Registered Competitors
Shanaki Martial Arts, Wytheville, VA

Next Dojo Organization sanctioned event is:
Date: March 11, 2017
43rd Universal Martial Arts Championships
Lancaster, SC @ Springdale Rec. Center
Hanshi James White 803-286-5155
Sanction: AAA
E-Mail: hanshi1234@yahoo.com